Spiros's Reviews > Where They Ain't: The Fabled Life and Untimely Death of the Original Baltimore Orioles, the Team That Gave Birth to Modern Baseball

Where They Ain't by Burt Solomon
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Aug 07, 12

liked it
bookshelves: beisbol, bins
Recommended for: those who want a feel for "the good old days" of Baseball, and don't mind being disillusioned
Read from July 17 to August 06, 2012

A book that felt simultaneously very long, and at the same time slightly sketchy. Solomon tells the story of the Baltimore Orioles team that, starting in 1893, revolutionized the national game, focusing on the Big Four of John McGraw, Hughey Jennings, Joe Kelley, and "Wee" Willie Keeler, and puts that account into the much larger context of the political and financial machinations engaged in by the game's ownership. The phrase "Where They Ain't" turns out to be a pretty apt description of Baltimore which, nearly a century before the Colts snuck away in the middle of the night, was abandoned by franchises from two separate major leagues, and had to wait fifty years for another franchise. I feel that this book could have been about 50% longer, to give adequate coverage of both the Orioles and the larger picture.
Also, one passage, describing the Highlanders' new ballpark, had me slightly puzzled: "The huge two-dimensional bull rising out of the Bull Durham advertisement on the outfield fence seemed to join in [the excitement]." Surely any representation of a bull, that isn't a statue, will be two-dimensional?
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